JonBenet Ramsey's father finds her dead in their basement: Part 3

John Ramsey found his daughter's body after a detective asked him to look around. She had a fractured skull but died from strangulation. Police suspected her parents were responsible at the time.
8:25 | 01/16/21

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Transcript for JonBenet Ramsey's father finds her dead in their basement: Part 3
Financial help may be available. The ransom note had indicated there would be a call between 8:00 and 10:00 A.M. And the police had prepped me on how to respond to a phone call. Very important that you hear jonbenet's voice. Police officers were leaving at 9:30 to at 40 before that period of a phone call had even expired. One lone detective was left on the scene. Detective Linda Arndt is left behind in the house with John and Patsy Ramsey. She didn't have extensive homicide experience. Managing a kidnapping and what was about to unfold, this was likely pretty overwhelming for one, lone police officer. Everyone is cleared but the family friends, victim advocates, and the detective. So, nobody was cleared? Yeah, that doesn't make sense to me, because everyone should be cleared from the scene. The house was full of people. So, this is a crime scene that is now being destroyed, piece by piece. I was praying. Linda Arndt had said to me, we're hopeful that the kidnappers will, will just drop jonbenet off someplace. And I kept looking out the window, clutching this cross, and just imagining that she was going to come running down the street. They're waiting for a telephone call from the kidnapper. What's going to happen next? 10:00 comes and goes. And there's no acknowledgment that the deadline imposed by the author of the ransom note has come and gone. Nobody seemed to mark it or freak out about it. She noticed John Ramsey checking his mail in the kitchen and thought that was odd. Linda Arndt tells the restless John, why don't you look around the house, see if anything is missing or looks strange? Check the house top to bottom. Look for anything that might belong to jonbenet that is in a place where it shouldn't be. John took a friend with him. They went to the basement, and John opened the door. You opened the door to the small room. I knew instantly -- instantly what I found. I found my daughter. She was lying on a white blanket. The blanket was wrapped around her. Her hands were tied above her head. She had tape over her mouth. I immediately knelt down over her, felt her cheek, took the tape off -- immediately off her mouth. I tried to untie the cord that was around her arms. I couldn't get the knot untied. Picked her up, and I ran upstairs and laid her on the floor, and, uh, still had a hope that she was alive. And I see John Ramsey carrying jonbenet up the last three steps from the basement. She looked like she was sleeping. She had some marks on her face and on her neck. I knelt next to her and I leaned down to her face, and John leaned down opposite. And he asked if she was dead. And I said, yes, she's dead. As we looked at each other, I remember -- and I wore shoulder holster -- tucking my gun right next to me and consciously counting, I've got 18 bullets. Why did you do that? Because I didn't know if we'd all be alive when people showed up. She clearly felt in danger at that moment. She made it clear that she thought that John Ramsey killed his daughter, and that they might kill her. It was shocking to me that she would think that. How is it that you have all these cops searching a home and nobody finds the body? But you ask John Ramsey to go look for things out of the ordinary, and he finds his daughter in a room that had never been opened by anybody in law enforcement? That's crazy. He lays her on the living room floor where, just a few minutes before, friends and neighbors have been walking and bringing fibers and whatever to contaminate the scene. And then the coup De Grace. He grabs a blanket, which is full of who knows what kind of contaminants, and throws it over the body. Patsy was being kept out of the room, and I didn't want Patsy to see jonbenet laying there like that. I remember walking in and seeing her lying there in front of the Christmas tree. I knelt down over her and just laid my body on her body, and my cheek against her cheek, and it was cold. And father Rall was there. And, um, he started saying the last rites, I believe, and I just kept saying, no, no. You know? Ask god to -- ask god to raise her. So, the kidnapping of jonbenet has turned into the murder of jonbenet. Jonbenet Ramsey was murdered in a horrific way. Many injuries to this little girl's body. We have the x-ray of her skull, which shows a fracture, a massive one. Right. This is a 1/8-inch skull fracture, so we're talking a major blunt force. This is just a massive blow. But the ultimate cause of death was strangulation with something called a garrotte. Brad, what type of a weapon is a garrote? How does it work? It's a device of a string and it's wrapped around what ends up being a piece of a paintbrush. And what happens is, as jonbenet is losing consciousness, she's leaning forward. And so this gets tighter and tighter. And you can see how it cuts into you can see exactly why it cut into her neck. And that's ultimately, according to the M.E., is what killed her. It seems to me that she had been attempting to remove the ligature from around her neck. And that tells me she was alive when she was garroted. There were signs that jonbenet had also been sexually abused. The broken pieces of the paintbrush that had been used for the garrote were also used to sexually assault her. What does it tell you about the murderer, just how vicious and awful this death was for her? A person that would do this to a 6-year-old in this fashion clearly is into sort of sadistic behavior, that they like torture to a certain extent. This is clearly somebody who was really into this. And was here with the intent to kill. There was no evidence of a break-in. There was no jimmying on the front door. There were four people in that house and one died overnight. From the very beginning, they suspected the parents. Within minutes of jonbenet's body being found, this was who they were going to go after. And that's what they did. The police are thinking, we gotta talk to those parents. And we gotta talk to them right now, before they start getting their stories straight together.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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